SBS ratings, ad revenue going strong. The Australian‘s Media section certainly has a plurality of views, especially on SBS. Ad writer Simon Canning today pointed out the surge in revenues since SBS started inserting ad breaks into programs: “The move helped lift revenues from $33 million in 2005-06 to more than $38 million in 2006-07. But sources close to SBS suggest the revenue growth could be even higher when the one-off broadcast of the Ashes series is removed from the equation, with growth close to 30 per cent.” Well it’s actually better than that because 2005-06 also included SBS’s coverage of Australia’s World Cup qualifying games and then most of the World Cup finals. The tournament spilled over into July, but SBS’s 2006 revenues were certainly bolstered by two big sporting events. That makes the revenue gain in the 2007 much better than even Canning’s figures. And the World Cup brings up the second mention of SBS in The Oz‘s Media section today. Columnist Errol Simper’s gentle touch-up of SBS Deputy chairman, Gerald Stone, the author of Who Killed Channel 9? contains a small but significant error of interpretation: “… it may be worth recording that SBS’s audience is actually down on this time last year. The once up-market broadcaster has, according to the latest survey figures, mislaid 0.2 per cent of its 6pm-to-midnight audience during 2007. Stone’s old station, Nine, has lost 0.7 per cent. The only free-to-air station to show any appreciable gain, incidentally, is the ABC, up by 1.5 per cent.” SBS hasn’t mislaid any audience share: it is actually up because this time last year the figures were bolstered by the World Cup coverage. Over the first 13 weeks of 2007 official ratings, SBS’s audience was up 10 per cent compared with 2006 (excluding Easter in both years and the 2006 Commonwealth Games). It’s only when you get into June and July that the comparison with last year pales. The reality is SBS audiences are higher this year than last year for regular programming. That much of the regular programming is what you’d see on Nine, Ten, Seven or the ABC is very much another question. — Glenn Dyer

Origin Three struggles in Sydney. The Nine Network is struggling to get its programming act together across the network. It seems the network botched its Oztam ratings coding for the third State of Origin game in Perth and Adelaide last night. Making sure your Oztam codings are accurate and reflect each day’s schedule is fairly elementary in TV and Nine seems to have remembered at the last minute but the lateness of the move meant it didn’t show up in the preliminary figures. According to those figures, 1.766 million people on average watched the game last night in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The audiences for Game One were 1.982 million and Game Two, 1.967 million. Around 726,000 people watched in Brisbane, a record equalling figure — tying the audience for Game One of the 2005 series. In contrast the Sydney audience fell to average 756,000 last night because the series was already lost. An audience that low was last reached back in the 2001 series. The audiences for the first two games of the 2007 series in Sydney were 831,000 and 915,000 respectively. The game was broadcast on delay in Melbourne where coverage started at 8.30pm. It averaged 284,000. Game Two was delayed to 9.30pm and averaged 257,000. Game One was live and it averaged 358,000, so the message in Melbourne is clear: go live. The lower audiences outside of Brisbane hurt Nine and stopped it from moving past Seven in the weekly ratings battle. — Glenn Dyer

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
Yes, State of Origin Rugby League last night produced a classic match last night, lots of grit, guts, skill, mistakes, pressure and the usual win for the Nine Network. But it wasn’t as convincing as games one and two because Sydney viewers were not engaged. But there was reasonable results for Seven, Ten and the ABC on the night, while SBS was hardly impacted. The Origin Game averaged 1.766 million viewers (756,000 in Sydney and 726,000 in Brisbane). Seven News was second with 1.531 million and Today Tonight was third with 1.391 million. Nine News was 4th with 1.391 million, and Spicks and Specks on the ABC at 8.30pm averaged 1.234 million, down around 140,000 or so on normal figures because of the footy. Not bad. Seven’s Home And Away averaged 1.228 million at 7pm, A Current Affair averaged 1.225 million for 7th spot and Ten’s repeat of House was watched by an average 1.203 million people, which again wasn’t too shabby. 9th was Seven’s 8pm program, Police Files Unlocked with 1.183 million, Temptation was next for Nine at 7pm with 1.169 million and the 7pm ABC News averaged 1.109 million. Seven’s Last Chance Learners averaged 1.033 million for its last show, which was better up against Nine’s pre-match (which was only in Sydney and Brisbane) than against the first half hour of McLeod’s the week before. The 7.30 Report also benefited, averaging 1.030 million people. But The New Inventors, which started on the ABC at 8pm averaged a very solid 1.028 million

The Losers: Nine 5pm to 6pm programming, the repeats of one off eps of Bert’s Family Feud are just not working, while Antiques Roadshow is averaging just over 600,000 (592,000 last night). Sunrise and Today are a bit down because of school holidays (at least in NSW, elsewhere I’m confused). The Chaser faded to 996,000 because of the football and because it was a repeat.

News & CA: Seven News again won nationally and in every market but Brisbane. Ten News averaged 976,000 viewers, the Late News/Sports Tonight 542,000 people. Lateline on the ABC averaged 254,000, Lateline Business, 102,000. Dateline on SBS, 180,000, 6.30 pm World News Australia, 198,000, 9.30pm, 216,000. 7am Sunrise 383,000, 7am Today, 232,000. The Morning Show on Seven, 181,000, KAK on Nine, 105,000, 9am With David and Kim on Ten, 102,000. Holidays!

The Stats: Nine won with a share of 34.2% (26.9% the week before) from Seven with 23.4% (26.3%), Ten with 21.3% (23.2%), the ABC with 16.7% (19.1%) and SBS with 4.4% (4.5%). Nine won Sydney and Brisbane, Seven won Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Seven still lead the week 29.6% to 28.1%. Nine needs Sea Patrol to average well over 1.8 million and for the Footy Shows to hang on to as much of that as possible, because Seven’s AFL and other programs tomorrow night will have a solid win. In regional areas the football did well (Regional NSW and Qld are League heartlands) WIN/NBN won with a share of 42.0%, from Prime/7Qld with 20.5%, Southern Cross, 19.0% for Ten, the ABC on 13.9% and SBS with 4.6%.

Glenn Dyer’s comments: A feature of last night was the reasonable viewing figures for Spicks and Specks, The New Inventors and The 7.30 Report on the ABC, a repeat of House at 8.30pm on Ten and Last Chance Learners and Police Files on Seven between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. The Origin game started around 8.07pm or thereabouts. It was an example of “anything but the football” among viewers. The origin result would have disappointed Nine, especially in Sydney. But that was last night. Tonight Nine brings out its ratings big gun for the year. Sea Patrol, 8.30pm. Heroes is a final in Sydney and Brisbane tonight. Ten has fresh Law and Orders (SVU at 8.30pm, C.I. at 9.30pm). Nine also has a “Holidays In The Sun” edition of Getaway. Seven also has Lost at 9.30pm. The ABC has a follow up to its interesting Boot Camp series from a couple of years ago. Nine needs a big win tonight, which it probably will get. Nine also changed the coverage last night of Origin: the pre match post match segments were only shown in Sydney and Brisbane. That was odd, surely the name of the game is to get as many people watching. 284,000 watched the game in Melbourne on a 20 minute delay. Finally, watching the League last night I was struck by the absence of any mention of the Wimbledon coverage that was following. There was a time when you couldn’t move for promos for things like Wimbledon.

Peter Fray

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